Way back in May 2007, the definition of a Street Commander was decreed on this website. As you all know, an SC in the ROK is one who is defined by his own terms. So now that the Canadicans (the dynamic two-wheeled, two-member squad/gang of expat/waegook whiteys from the two biggest countries in North America; let’s call them The Street Commanding Canadicans (SCC)) are fully mechanized, Street Commanding has a whole new dimension. Let’s see how the guidelines stand up with the Canadicans overlay.
Guideline # 1.) an SCC has sense enough to know when it is time to go on solo excursions for the purposes of adventure and/or meditation. Well, just look at the thriving masses of this motorbike gang; the numbers (and pictures) should speak for themselves. Though solo ventures are encouraged, I doubt that I would have had the sack to go on those lonely, remote roads without Punchy (my partner in crime) when roving the countryside. Surely, adventures have been and will be had, though the impending arrival of Punchy and SoYeon’s baby girl might put the dynamics of the Canadicans and the Guidelines of Street Commanding into another revision. Oh, and meditation? What’s that? Just concentrate on not getting smashed by a bus.
Guideline # 2.) an SCC has sense enough to have a sense of direction (never eat shredded wheat). Pardon my French, but êtes-vous de la foutue plaisanterie je? (Thank you, Babelfish.com, because I don’t speak a lick of French past croissant, Dijon, douche baguette and chatte.) This country doesn’t even have names for its streets. It took me three weeks to find the best way to get to work; furthermore, I still get lost going and returning from Punchy’s place on the other side of town. I am getting better at finding my way, though, and I know much more of this city due to my losing my way so many times. When the Canadicans ride, a general direction or area is often settled upon, but since we are not fully automated, we have neither GPS nor walkie-talkies built into the helmets yet, so we end up in some pretty outlandish outlying areas.
Guideline # 3.) an SCC has sense enough to know that these excursions can and must be made without any plans later in the day (or night) that might impinge guilt or obligation. Guilt? What’s that? And the only obligation is to pump that 125cc past 100 kph on those long straight-aways in the middle of BF Nowhere. Oh, and the obligation to generally kicking ass. If the excursion is, indeed, an outing for the Canadicans, it is automatically assumed that it is an all-day venture, finishing with a few cans of Kronenbourg outside the local GS 25 (convenience store).
Guideline # 4.) an SCC has sense enough to dress smartly and comfortably, bringing along essentials so anything beyond the absolute minimum amount of money is required. Lesson hard-learned in winter riding is that wind cuts through two pairs of gloves with fierce ease and can take up to a day to get full circulation back into your fingertips. Money for coffee and gas is essential. There is no such thing as too much money, because anything can happen in the middle of nowhere.
Guideline # 5.) an SCC has sense enough to know his limits and to push those limits—physically, emotionally, spiritually—to extremities never before discovered or rarely visited. Yeah, I pushed my limits physically and nearly had to have my pinkies removed due to their near-death experience in the wind sheer. Emotions? Well, you’re fucked if you let those get the best of you when driving in this country. The Zen of Driving is a practice encouraged for your safety as much as for your happiness. Spiritual? You best find your God or some inner-peace before taking on the drivers here who think they are still riding their bicycles around. Personal space does not exist here in The Big Bu (much less in the Seoul-Suck up north, I can assure you). But outside the city limits, the views and silence and solitude and the relative cleanliness are so choice. If you have the means, I highly recommend it (a la Ferris Bueller).
Guideline # 6.) as per the tenet set forth in guideline #5, an SCC has sense enough to keep an open mind. Going with the flow is much better than fighting the way of things on the road here. As mentioned above, the Zen of Driving is best applied at all times. And remember that most traffic “laws” here are like the “rules” of Street Commanding itself: more like suggestions or guidelines rather than actual laws or rules.
How Street Commander are you?